This Southwestern Chicken Cavatappi bake features cavatappi pasta, roasted chicken, black beans, corn and salsa all smothered in a rich homemade pepper-jack cheese sauce. It's not only a family pleasing one-dish-meal but, it's like a sassy macaroni and cheese.
Southwestern Chicken Cavatappi
I'm a one-dish-meal fan. My family is just like yours between school, sports, friends and family our days are crazy busy and filled with extra-curricular activities. That's not a bad thing at all but, can make meal-time difficult some days. One-dish-meals keep life simple and in general they reheat well, if we find ourselves at the supper table at different times. Whether it's this cavatappi or chicken fettuccine, they're a win for mom.
Other Chicken and Pasta Casseroles You May Enjoy
Pasta isn't complicated to make plus, it's cost effective when you're feeding a family. Whether it's a skillet casserole like my Cajun chicken pasta with andouille or cheesy chicken spaghetti, both are family tested and approved. Kicked-up pasta dishes like this chicken cavatappi or Tex-Mex cavatappi from Food and Wine, they're a fantastic way to get vegetables into the mix, adding to the flavor without the kids protesting too much. It's a beautiful thing.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Southwestern Chicken Cavatappi
- 12 oz dry cavatappi pasta
- 5 tablespoon butter
- ⅓ cup all purpose flour
- 3 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 ½ cup shredded pepper Jack cheese divided
- 3 tablespoon taco or fiesta seasoning i.e. McCormick
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 3 cup roughly chopped rotisserie chicken
- 1 cup black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen corn with peppers thawed
- ½ cup thick and chunky salsa plus additional for serving
- 4 green onion sliced (Reserve 2 tablespoon for garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Cook the pasta in salted water per the package directions until al dente then drain well.
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan, melt the butter then add the flour. Cook over medium-high stirring until the flour has dissolved.
- Whisk in the garlic salt, pepper and 3 cups milk. Bring to a boil, then immediately lower the heat ti medium-low whisking constantly. Allow to gently bubble for 5 minutes then add 2 cups cheese.
- Remove from the heat and stir until the cheese melts. Add the taco seasoning, ground cumin and oregano mixing well.
- Add the cooked pasta, chopped chicken, black beans, corn,and green onion to a large mixing bowl. Pour the sauce on top and mix well.
- Pour ½ into the baking dish. Dollop the salsa over the pasta, then sprinkle lightly with ¾ cup pepper Jack cheese. Top with the remaining pasta and finish the top with the last ¾ cup shredded cheese.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until bubbly around the edge and the cheese is golden.
- Serve immediately garnished with green onion and with additional salsa on top, if desired. .
It's important to use a thick and chunky salsa either mild, medium or hot your preference.
any suggestions to sub for black beans?
You could sub out pinto beans or kidney beans, if you prefer.
WOW!! Your recipes are amazing. My friends always ask for the recipe. L love the combination of the
flavors and the simplicity of the dishes. Thank you for sharing. Good job.
Thank you, Norma!
Hey Melissa! I have never heard of cavatappi pasta. Is there somewhere I can get it online or a special place to get it? Thanks!
Hi Peggi! Cavatappi is sometimes called corkscrew pasta. It's like a twisted macaroni with ridges. I buy it at Walmart and Target here in my neck of the woods. If you can't find it any similar pasta will do.
Holly N @ Spend With Pennies
This really looks delicious Melissa! I love anything with homemade cheese sauce... but this sounds extra amazing!
Thank you sweet Holly!
Thank you for the nice recipe.
Thank you Liz hope you have a great week!